Jan Gambino Jan Gambino's Blog

The High Cost of GERD Medications

The presidential candidates are talking more and more about the high cost of medical care and offering their proposals. I hope the candidates realize the high cost of prescriptions for patients with chronic conditions such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Even patients with medical insurance end up paying a great deal of money in high prescription co pays and out of pocket expenses. It is not uncommon for children and adults with GERD to have more than one chronic condition.

Some children, like my daughter Rebecca struggled with both GERD and asthma during infancy and childhood, necessitating two or more prescription medications for each condition per month. There were additional out of pocket expenses for over the counter medications, special foods for GERD and medical supplies for asthma. Both medical conditions left her a virtual germ magnet. If everyone in the family had the stomach bug for a day, she had the 3 day version that required re hydration drinks or a hospital stay. When all the kids in first grade got the sniffles, she had an ear infection that progressed to pneumonia, requiring the costly antibiotics (never the inexpensive generic), breathing treatments, rescue inhalers and over the counter pain relievers. By the time I went by the prescription counter and stocked up on over the counter medical supplies and special foods, I had spent half of my weekly food budget. It is always a bad sign when the entire staff of the mega store pharmacy knows you by name!

Adults with GERD often tell me they have other chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or a heart condition. All of these conditions are treated with prescription medications that have a proven track record for controlling the condition but cost a dollar or more per pill. When I see adult relatives pulling out a handful of these medications at every meal, I can only imagine the daily cost.

Sometimes there is an inexpensive generic medication available for a chronic condition. I found that my daughter’s asthma and GERD medications were seldom available in a generic form. Often, my insurance company charged a higher co pay or refused to pay altogether. There has to be a better way. I am listening carefully to the debates and checking the HealthCentral Polygraph for information on where the candidates stand on this issue.


Check with your
doctor first!